AKA Perth You Suck Festival

Perth you so so seriously suck. You would think that a city in Australia, a beer drinking powerhouse, would be able to organise a beer festival and do it well. You would wouldn't you? Yeah you would. But no.

$20 a ticket, which mind you gives you nothing more than admission, sure there's a few live bands but no one to write home about. That's the first atrocity but we were willing to get past that, it's Perth and not much happens here so you have to support stuff like this, but to arrive and then see this...

beer festival line 2

beer festival line 4

beer festival line 3

beer festival line

Seriously?!! We have to line up for almost an hour to get in? No fucking way. Why is there only 2 small gates in and those at the same entrance? Why are you searching everyones' bags? I mean it's a fucking beer festival, no body is going to pay you a $20 entrance fee and then sneak their own beer in. The whole point of the exercise is that we want to sample the exciting exotic beers you have on offer, you do have exciting exotic beers on offer don't you? Don't you?

Well no, not exactly, they had about a half dozen (if that) beer tents and when I say "tent " what I mean to say is they had a table with some servers behind them and a small tent like awning over those servers so that the servers weren't affected by the 36 degree heat and full sun, everyone else on the other hand had to line up without any awnings to get one of these beers and then when you arrived at the end of that line YOU ARE HANDED A WARM BEER. Yep they ran out of cold beer at this particular "tent" 2 hours into an 8 hour event. Oh and to the organisers, I can get Boags, Becks and Heineken beer anywhere, it's no longer exotic. If you are going to have an international beer festival maybe source some lesser known overseas, beers not something I can buy at my local tavern and at half the price. Oh and to the organisers, this is what a beer festival looks like okay.

So let's recap here, $20 admission, almost an hour standing in the full sun waiting to get in, then another half an hour in another line to be given a hot beer, apart from maybe one beer everything on offer can be bought anywhere, oh and did I mention the whole event was in a fenced off area no larger than say, oh I dunno, roughly 300m x 300m in size, maybe. My local pubs beer garden is bigger than that, well maybe not, but you get my point.

Lets not be too critical on the organisers here, too late you say? True, but they did provide some rides for the kiddies, downside being that the rides took up a nice slice of the miniscule compound and then they charged $10 for those kidlets to get in and then made the kidlets pay to ride the rides. Brilliant stuff, I hope you win some kind of event or tourism award for this cos you're awesome. Although I might ask why you are enticing kids to a beer festival, but you already have enough questions to answer at this stage. Also, so glad we did the responsible thing and did a 45 minute sweaty walk into the city to arrive at this debacle, the pay off meant to be an ice cold beverage or 3 .... if only.

The decision was easy though, no way where we going to suffer all of the above, so we messaged the crew already in there and headed off to the Queens where we were welcomed with these big icy cold beauties....


beer and Heidi

Beer festival that my son.

Saw this bad boy out the front of the Queens, owner was a helmet-less green haired girl. There was an element of Ghost Rider about it all, only no flaming skull and no leather jacket and no Nicholas Cage, but apart from that it was ALL ghost rider.... kind of.


On a final note and it may well have been the beer and the sun talking and none of us are true fashionistas, except maybe Macca, but none of us really thought this outfit worked, what do you think? Personally I think it needs more checks.






Irishman said…
Have you been to the Oktoberfest man? You gotta go, especially the first few days - it's crazy mad fun, and the beer is just delicious. Nowhere but Munich does the beer taste so amazing.
Stu said…
I haven't been to one in Germany yet. On my list of things to do though, def.
Anonymous said…
I am in the process of writing an email to the organisers of this so called event now.

Everyone else who was pissed off this this "event" should do the same.

The beers there I could have got at The Moon and Sixpence and wouldn't have had to wait for 30 min. There were no samples of new and exciting beers. What was there was overpriced. From my count there were four beer tents.

We ended up getting a beer and then joining up to another line straight away.

We ended up leaving after about 2hours and going over to The Lucky Shag, as did everyone else who wasn't happy.
Maja said…
Wow that sounds like the most rubbish event ever! I'm at work, and only saw that there was a beer festival on when I saw it on the news that night. It looked lame on tv, and now I know it was ten times lamer than it looked.
Stu said…
Anonymous: maintain the rage dude, through your complaints they can only learn and maybe, just maybe Perth will one day host a worthy event and host it well, we can only hope.

Maja: Oh it was beyond lame, in fact in future when you look in dictionaries, the word lame will be described...

lame (NOT SATISFACTORY)adj: The Perth International Beer Festival.

hahahha I crack ME up
Anonymous said…
Thanks Stu! You just saved me + 6 others around $50 each.

Hopefully the lack of our $300 contributes to the downfall of this event company so that they never anger the beer quenched citizens of perth again.

I too would share your rage if exposed to conditions like that. Shame on them.

I'm off to the Queens. Or maybe an air conditioned pub.
Stu said…
My pleasure.

I'd take your $300 and go to the Queens Bottle Shop, buy a pile of German and other exotic beers and have a beer festival in your own house hehehe heaps better than that one
lil bro said…
man does that guys have a mirror??Way too many checks.
Wooders said…
Absolute Shite , i felt sorry for the girl in front of me queueing for 45mins for a drink who passed out on the counter just as she was about to order . She was OK , unlike the whole event , lasted about an hour went to the Windsor in South Perth no checkered freaks though , some people have all the fun
Cheers !!!
Mr Walker* said…
I think someone may have to update the definition of "lame" or "shite" on
Was there any spillover to the ferris wheel?
Stu said…
Only to grafitti it I believe :)
Craig said…
And to think when I was working on Saturday in a building looking over that "event" I actually felt sorry for myself.
Stu said…
haha nup, you had the right end of the stick ;)
Anonymous said…
We got there in a taxi at about 6.00pm. The 1st people we come across say "You aren't going in there are you? Save your money, it's a joke."

We were waiting for friends to arrive before we went in, and there was a steady stream of angry punters walking out all saying the same thing. "Don't go in there!"

We all went to the Windsor and drank ice cold pints of Little Creatures, and ate woodfired pizza.
I actually tried to buy tickets to get in online on Friday afternoon to save $5 on entry, lucky for me online ticket sales stopped at 12.00 midday on Friday :)
Anonymous said…
We got there in a taxi at about 6.00pm. The 1st people we come across say "You aren't going in there are you? Save your money, it's a joke."

We were waiting for friends to arrive before we went in, and there was a steady stream of angry punters walking out all saying the same thing. "Don't go in there!"

We all went to the Windsor and drank ice cold pints of Little Creatures, and ate woodfired pizza.
I actually tried to buy tickets to get in online on Friday afternoon to save $5 on entry, lucky for me online ticket sales stopped at 12.00 midday on Friday :)
Anonymous said…

Well done Dullsville!
Anonymous said…
Absolute crap and embarrassing for Perth to be associated with. I have logged my complaint with the organisers.
Meanwhile, the Belgian Beer Cafe was doing a roaring trade...!
Stu said…
Judging from all reports the beer festival did manage to promote huge business in all of the surrounding pubs.

So maybe it was just some sort of weird marketing ploy hahaha
Cookster said…
Oh yes, this is SOOO worst of Perth. Nothing like taking a potentially great idea and fucking it up royally.

The Harvest Picnic at Hanging Rock offers up a free day out, with loads of really cheap samples of boutique beer, wine and food... oh, but that's Victoria.

Is it any wonder The Perth Files has degenerated into a bitch fest about restricted trading, anti-DLS zombies and the new sport of shark spotting.

Anonymous said…
This was the worst event I've ever been to! It was like the organisers thought lining up was the entertainment for the day. We had pre-paid tickets unfortunately but we still had to line up to pick them up and then get in an equally long line to get in! When we finally got in, we copped a look at the beverage lines and our group split up to see who could get served first. Needless to say we didn't stay long.
In the organisers' favour, I noticed there was plenty of toilets for patrons. Pity none of us stayed long enough to use them! We tried to talk as many people as possible out of entering as we left - hopefully we saved a few people some cash
Anonymous said…
A group of us arrived around 4pm, so there were no lines to get into the "event". However, when we entered, there appeared to be only two or three stalls to purchase beer (that's right, for about $10 a pint) - and the lines per stall were phenomenal!

What's more, there were no tokens given to us with the purchase of our $25 tickets! One of my friends was so disappointed, he went to the ticket stand to demand a refund, which was certainly not an option, according to staff.

The organisers of this "event" should be ashamed. Beer is a sacred, wonderful thing, and it should be celebrated and appreciated via a respectable event.

I still love you beer. We'll get through this together xx
Stu said…
hahaha great comment
Anonymous said…
Absolutely Tragic. The promoters should be barred from ever holding another event in Australia and we should all get a refund - not only to the ticket value, but also for the few beers we bought - in fact come to think of it - they should've bought us a couple of rounds for putting up with that rubbish! we too partied on at the Lucky Shag afterwards - smooth tunes, cooler, better scenery. Perth - lift your game
LV said…
I sent this to the event organisers:

'To Aleksandar Ilic and Lisa James,

Your 'Perth International Beer Festival' on the weekend of the 10th and 11th of January was a disgrace. Festivals by their nature are opportunities to sample a wide range of products within a given field, such as the immensely successful and popular Good Food & Wine Show ( which I thoroughly recommend you base any future 'Festivals' on. That event, also $25 admission, offers a huge range of FREE samples of food, beer and wine in air conditioned comfort.

Your event, on the other hand, charged $25 for people to sit on the grass in the hot sun, in between long stints lining up to PAY pub prices for beers that can be enjoyed in the shade, with better music, without the exorbitant entry fee in Perth beer gardens. From your website: 'The festival will showcase local, national and international beers in a huge licensed area giving patrons a chance to sample a wide range of different beers. Drink tasting tickets start at $1. This is an ideal opportunity to try a selection of beers you may not have previously tasted.' At no point did I see anywhere to access these drink tasting tickets - all I saw were people lining up to buy pints of beer at pub prices - beers already on tap at pubs across Perth.

There was nothing at your event that showcased International beers, let alone any 'I may not have already tasted' - Becks, Heineken and Wiehenstephaner are already popular drinks selling well in Perth. My friends and I ran an Oktoberfest event at our house last October and we had more diverse and interesting International beers than you offered.

I will never attend another Acos-run event again.'

This was such a shame as Perth can do great events...
Stu said…
almost word for word the one I sent the same people last night, I think their inbox's will be pretty much overflowing today.

Godd stuff
DB said…
Probably would not hurt to tell these guys exactly what you think...I was lucky, I was feeling ill and missed it. Everyone I know who went left in disgust within an hour and ended up at Bris/Queens/Scotto/Ingy et al...

from the beerfest website:
Acos Event Management Pty Ltd
ABN 87124612586

Director - Aleksandar Ilic
+61 415 455 707

Event Co-ordinator Lisa James
+61 438 533 137

Office Number:
+61 8 9479 7537
Anonymous said…
serves you right for going you pack of tragic clowns.
Stu said…
That's the spirit :)
Luke Garratt said…
same experience with us. I thought it was a joke that there wasn't a beer there that couldn't be served between Moon & 6, Flying Scotsman and the Queens.

Moon was absolutely heaving by the time we arrived at 5pm, after wasting $20 and 30min to move 10m in a queue.

Had to laugh at the fact you could apparently only have the beer in front of you, despite there being other taps less than 2m away on either side!?!?!?

I'll be writing a letter tonight.
Abe Froman said…
Me and a couple of my buddies had a slightly different experience than everyone else it seems, although it was still a joke of a festival. We decided we would attend on Sunday. Well word must of gotten around by then because we didn't have to put up with any long lines because there was barely a soul in the place. We walked up and paid our $25 went in and went straight to the beer tent in the middle of the confinement area. When asking the server about getting a taste they had no idea what we were talking about. They said you can buy a small beer for $4 or a big one for $9. What was all the promotion about tasting then???
We ended up staying for barely an hour and then walked down to the Lucky Shag. On the way out a couple of young ladies asked if it was worth going in, we promptly told them it was a waste of time and money and we were off to the Lucky Shag. They ended up following us there and anyone that we passed on the way we advised them not to visit the "big outdoor pub with the ridiculous cover charge". Funny thing is a few of the people we warned came and thanked us later on at the Lucky Shag.
Stu said…
yeah I had heard that Sundays attempt was much quieter than Saturdays. Looks like they might be in a bit of shit convincing people they're doing it better next year
Chris said…
This is the letter I emailed to the organisers on Monday.

To Alek and Lisa,

I must start by saying that I went to the International Beer Festival on Saturday afternoon and was most disappointed with what I saw.

If the Belgian Beer Cafe, Bobby Dazzlers, the Lucky Shag and the Brass Monkey were all full by 6pm on a Saturday afternoon, full of people who had LEFT the festival, then this is a poor indication of the ability of the festival to operate. Even the Paddington Ale House had a larger Saturday night trade than usual, because people wanted to be able to drink a quality beer that they hadn’t tried before. I spoke to about 50 people after leaving the festival and I did not hear a single positive thing about it.

I’m going to raise a number of issues in this email, detailing what was wrong with the festival and how to improve it in the future.

1. The location – Langley Park was a bad spot to have the festival to start with. If you had held it in the Supreme Court Gardens or the Esplanade, it would have been much easier for people to get to AND it would not have been anywhere as easy to dissuade people from going on the walk back to the public transport.

2. The Lines to get in – If you are expecting thousands of people to turn up to a festival such as this, it would have been a lot easier for you to separate out the 6 entry points from the line to purchase your tickets. I waited in the line for 30 minutes just to get in the door

3. Range of beers – An International Beer Festival needs to feature beers from all over the world. Mauritius, Germany and the United Kingdom does not make an International Beer Festival, it makes an outdoor pub. Further to that, I did not see any Jarrah Jacks at any of the stalls on Saturday. Where were all the other Western Australian microbreweries? There was no Little Creatures, no Gage Roads, no Nail, no Matso’s, no Duckstein, no Elmars; the list goes on and on. It is clear that the Brewers Association was not brought into the loop until much too late and whatever deal that was offered to them by you was not good enough to get the breweries on board.

4. The amount of beer/supplies – There is absolutely no excuse for running out of beer at a beer festival. While this did not happen to me, I have friends of mine who I met later that evening who waited for a warm beer in a plastic cup topped up with ice. This is an absolute disgrace.

5. The Lines to get a drink – There was no way people should be waiting up to 90 minutes for a beer that they could get at the pub. For a beer festival to operate properly there should be enough tents or alcohol outlets to ensure that people can actually get a beer and walk away.

6. The tastings – What happened to the advertised “drink tasting tickets starting at $1”? I certainly didn’t see any of these and no-one I spoke to found them either.

7. The rides – What was the purpose of having the rides there? I know this was supposed to be a family event, but for goodness sakes, it felt more like a school fete than a beer festival. When there are more stalls for generic fete-like products than beer stalls, then you can’t call it a beer festival.

8. The entertainment – This should have been a no-brainer. If you are going to put on girls in bikinis as part of a fashion show, you don’t put them on first, and you certainly don’t put 13 and 14 year old girls on stage at a beer festival. Why do you think all the men that flocked to the stage for the swimsuit section moved away as quickly as possible once the girls that opened the Christmas pageant got on stage? This was a very poor choice of entertainment. A number of modelling agencies and fashion outlets could have been called upon for this portion of the festival and would have provided much better entertainment.

9. The “family event” – I don’t care what you say, a beer festival is not for children. If you had not approached it as a family event and instead tried to pitch it in the same vein as a wine festival or Spring in the Valley, then you may have had more beer tents.

The lesson that you need to learn from this is that if you are going to run an international beer festival, you need to be consulting with the Brewers Association right from the beginning, rather than bringing them in after you have most things organised.

The Fremantle Beer Festival held in 2006 was an enormous success featuring a large number of breweries, a big range of beers, good quality bands and entertainment, places to sit, a good range of food. I have heard rumours of the return of the Fremantle Beer Festival and if that is the case, I sincerely hope that people’s experiences from the weekend do not detract from the possibility of an actually good beer festival in the future.
Stu said…
Let us know if you get a response, I haven't had a response to my email as yet, I'm sure they're just busy answering the other 3000 ;)
LV said…
I found out yesterday that the organisers approached boutique breweries such as the Feral to have stalls at the event, but wanted $12000 per stall. After all the microbreweries refused, the organisers decided to do what we all suffered through and tried to buy boutique beers to have on offer - and all the boutique breweries refused. Yay people taking a stand! Such a sham of blatant rip-off merchanting.
Stu said…
LV I had heard about them asking huge prices for the micro breweries to attend. crazy, I think the council was asking 40 odd thousand rent for the space (have to check the council minutes on that one) so that seems ridicuously high to ask of one stall, esp when they where initially suggesting 40 stalls.

do the maths on that one!
Anonymous said…
As a WABA member and the Manager of one of WA's small microbreweries it was saddening to read of everyones experiences on the weekend.
We were quoted in the region of 10 to 12000 dollars for a stall which is well beyond our budget. Not to mention the cost of stock to be used for sampling.
As such, you didnt see the likes of Feral, Matsos, Nail, Jarrah Jacks etc there. From memory, we were notified of the events planning early in 2008 and were pretty pumped about it until the details and pricing were released.
It sounds a lot like the 2006 festival that I had the pleasure of working, and I thought that event was stretched to its limits. At least it was attended by the WA's excellent micro-breweries.
We considered 2006 to be a successful event for the brewery even though there were a lot of organisational issues that were obviously repeated last weekend.
When the queue to buy beer becomes too huge, the pressure mounts on breweries promoting their product to pour samples at pub speed. The main reason we attend beer shows is expose our products to you the beer drinker. Its also a great opportunity for us to meet you and talk about beer in general, given the chance.
Believe me, Im sure the poor bastards spruiking all that mainstream rubbish were having as shit of a time as you. Except they were getting paid.
Stu said…
Fantastic to read this, thanks for taking the time to comment. Your points reflect the feelings of many who attended. We where expecting the Micro breweries to be there, it was only later that we found out how much they where asking, now confirmed by you.

You also mention what you as a brewer expect to get out of a festival lof this kind and from my side of the fence that's exactly what I expect as well. We'd like to meet the brewers and discuss the beers, pretty much along the lines of a wine show.

All great points, thanks
Anonymous said…
It just gets really painful when your fronted with a mass of people some of which are just there for the 'cheap piss', and others who are genuinely interested in craft beer. You spend most of the time fending off the idiots and at the same time trying to engage with people who are serious about beer. Case in point the food and wine show at the convention centre. And in the latter parts of the every day during the 2006 freo fest.
Theres no value in breweries like us attending these shows if we dont get a chance to talk to the punters.
There is a small chance that WABA may try and get a show going in conjunction with the Perth Royal Beer Show this year, fingers crossed.
Stu said…
ahhh yes, the cashed up bogans syndrome :)

I shall keep my ears to the ground for a Royal Show beer tasting, that sounds like a brilliant idea.

Anonymous said…
I'm the first Anonymous who posted and on Thursday I got a response to my email.

"Thank you for your feedback. Acos Events apologises for your disappointment.

Obviously things went wrong but were rectified as soon as it was possible. I can assure you we have learnt from this event and the next will be great.

Your name has been registered for complimentary tickets for next year where it will be bigger and better.

Acos Event Management"

I fail to see where things were rectified as soon as possible.

Wouldn't be difficult to make the next one bigger and better, but it had better be fucking spectacular.
Stu said…
according to most reports it was rectified by 8pm, which is great for people who came after 8pm ....

I am happy though that they have taken the criticism well and are at least refunding or offering free tickets, but as you say it better be fucking spectacular
Anonymous said…
I am sure nearly everyone who attended your beer festival will agree that this event was an absolute disgrace.

It is clear that your greed to make a quick buck blinded you, because had you delivered a premier event – you would have had a profitable venture in Perth for years to come.

How many e-mails have you received?

These are not just disappointed punters – you won’t here from these.

These are the people who are pissed off!

The disappointed punters won’t turn up next year – but the many 1000’s who may have written to you will be making sure anyone they know keep well away from next year’s festival.

In fact – I would cancel it now if I was you.

I and many others will be writing to the Perth City Council to put forward the view that you should not be provided with grounds next year in protecting the public from attending a dreadful event.

I hope you learn from this disgrace..

But that wont get my Sunday back will it!
check out
its a public tasting beer expo in melbourne, march 20-21. plently of craft and imported beer to taste with live demonstrations of beer 7 food matching home brewing and beer tasting master classes
David - organiser
Stu said…
whoa that sounds almost like a beer festival ;)
Anonymous said…

THIS IS ON AGAIN!! 20-21 FEB 2010

DON’T be scammed again Perth!!! Read ALL the comments on here AND ALL the other websites with people complaining about being RIPPED OFF and scammed.

I IMPLORE ANYONE thinking of going to think twice!



Stu said…
that sure is a passionate plea. Well I for one am always willing to allow someone to rectify their mistakes. A second chance at things is fair. So I'll be attending this year merely to see if they have kept their promises to improve the event.

I shall report on my findings here in Feb
Barm said…
I have looked at the beer list for this year. Have fun drinking macro crap from Heineken, Guinness and Greene King. Why not put your money towards helping organise a real beer festival instead?
Stu said…
I doubt MY $25 would provide much of a festival :)

Like I said I'll be going simply to see if they've fixed the things they said they would fix. If not I'll nail em to a door like last time. If they have I'll pat them on the back for trying something new here, god knows Perth needs it.

I don't hold high hopes for them but I'm willing to give em a go, it wouldn't be fair to slam them, accept their apologies (and they did apologise) and listen to their plans to better it and not even show up to see for ourselves.

Stay tuned